(1866-08-24) Best Out of Three?
Best Out of Three?
Summary: The day after the Tourney in celebration of Alina and Gabriel's wedding, the Black Fox Captain and Wraith Commander meet for a friendly round of fisticuffs.
Date: Aout 24 1866
Related: None
Corvin  Esyld  Lorelei  

Grounds outside the Outer Tower, Highwater Castle, Lonnaire
In set
Aout 24 1866

The Yard is largely empty for the moment, with a few Wraiths and foxes and guards wandering to and fro. Many of the guests have already left, and others still are nursing hangovers (yes two days later) from the Masque, or the celebrations following the miniature tournament, or otherwise occupied with other things.

But Corvin Fremont is standing in a cordoned-off area, that really just amounts to a grassy patch that's often used for training of various types. Today it's mostly bare, and Corvin's bearing no weaponry. Just clad in some breeches, boots, and a plain, relatively close-fitting shirt. It's often the custom, when they deign to train outside the Wraith Tower, for the fighters to go shirtless, but Corvin never does (for reasons at least one of those soon to arrive already knows). He's mostly just stretching and otherwise loosening up, and waiting for his sparring partner for this late afternoon to arrive.

Quite familiar, understandably, with the layout and myriad purposes of the yard within the castle grounds, Corvin's sparring partner arrives only a few minutes later, similarly simple in her choice of attire. Though her reasons for not going shirtless are perhaps more apparent, even to the outside observer. Clad in a longshirt of plain black linen and her usual, day to day leggings of pliant, well-worn leather, Captain Draven strolls toward the cordoned off spot unhurriedly, accompanied by another of the Foxes. Well, who doesn't love a little bloodsport? Especially between one who holds her loyalty and one who apparently only entreats her disdain. Esyld asked for this addition to her own training regime.. and is therefore quite likely prepared to lose. Horribly. But that's not the point… right?

With a vaguely mutinous set to her jaw, despite the half-smile she offers toward the Wraith, the raven-maned young woman ducks smoothly under the makeshift 'fence', idly rolling up her sleeves to elbow level. Did she already take the time to stretch? Doubtful. The brisk walk ought to serve well enough for getting knocked on her arse repeatedly. Still, she seems in good humor about the situation, raking her dark tresses back from her face in that habitual way she has and settling her vivid gaze upon her opponent. "..you're not going to make me run around the grounds three times, are you, Master Fremont..?" The enquiry is in wry jest, quite obviously.. and even if he did, it's easy to assume what response he'd get.

The less knowledgeable arriving Fox doesn't know Wraith customs in as nuanced a way as her Captain, nor does she care to. Their companies have worked together and she doesn't need to make sure beds are made for them on a regular basis - that's all the information the quartermaster busies herself with as she walks with a moderate pace, boots thudding against the hard-packed dirt of the path, toward that cordoned-off area of their ultimate destination.

Lorelei's dressed as casually as the other two, though only because it's what she typically wears; a loose-fitting tunic with rolled up sleeves, two sizes too big, hangs from her shoulders to well past her mid thigh. Cotton canvas breeches in dark brown - new, by the looks of them - make up the difference between tunic and boots. Her hair's loose, dark, crinkly waves billowing out behind her as they arrive. One hand hangs loose by her side casually, while the other twists at the leather cord around her neck and cotton ties of her tunic both.

Sure to pick a spot to watch from enough distance to keep the distraction to a minimum, Lorelei chooses a particularly large fencepost and climbs atop, lowering herself gingerly to sit upon it. She's not smiling, but she doesn't look homicidal, either. A plus, right?

"I'm reasonably well-informed as to the fact that your stamina is excellent, Captain Draven. So I doubt any laps around the yard are likely to be necessary." Corvin's tone is nonchalant, but there's just the barest hint of humor to his expression, particularly in his eyes, speaking to the full awareness of innuendo delivered. He does give her a more genuine smile a moment later, before noting, "Warmed up already, or do you need a few moments?" There's nothing condescending in the tone at that, just a genuine question. He seems willing to wait, if needed.

"Hmm. Indeed, it has been known to surpass that of even the fiercest of opponents." replies the Captain; her tone agreeable but a similar, rare flicker of humor subtly apparent in her expression when she meets Corvin's gaze. Lore, likely, would pick up on it even if she weren't settling to watch them. Airy nonchalance in her t'Maren friend is, funnily enough, often a precursor to a sharp right hook.. though it's seen in taverns usually, rather than in this sort of situation. Oh besides.. the quartermaster is one of the more accepting ones when it comes to this pair anyway. Not that you'd tell from her frown.

Anyway.. loosening up her shoulders idly with a pull of each arm across her chest with the opposite hand, Esyld then simply shrugs. "Well enough to take a swing to the jaw, I'll wager." she remarks, shaking a few wayward locks of her hair back from her eyes. Let the lesson begin!

"Fair enough." Corvin drops into, for the moment, a basic defensive stance. "This is more to show me what you're capable of, but I know you'd only punish me in other ways were I to go easy, so…" A bit of a grin, "Not quite no-quarter, but give me a nod when you're ready." His stance is loose…relaxed. Light on his feet and ready to move, but certainly not giving any inclination as to which direction that might be in.

Har, har. The archer can't help the snort at first her Captain's greeting, then at Corvin's reply. It's almost sickening, in a cute sort of way, to watch two warriors as formidable as these banter as they do. Finally she grins (though that's a strong way to describe the not-frown she wears briefly in the wake of Sid's joke), sighs heavily to remind them that yes, she's still there, and then reaches up to comb both hands through her hair. Here they go, I guess.

Esyld, likewise, settles in an easy stance.. though still not even so 'proper' a relaxed bearing as Corvin. She's used to either bar brawls or the occasional elbow to someone's jaw in a down and dirty swordfight. This is a whole different kettle of fish. Fists clenching, absently cracking knuckles with a press to each palm, the young woman dismisses the banter for now in favor of a brief smirk. At least he knows the score.. she'd certainly be in a foul temper if he treated her like some fledgeling. Though this alternative might hurt. Ah well. Eyeing him consideringly with those strange eyes, bringing up her defences, she dips her head in a nod.

Well, he said he wasn't going to go easy on her, but one might almost think he is at first, given that he lunges in and barely even makes contact with his first strike, though despite getting a rather serious punch in the face, he doesn't slow or stagger, and manages two more quick follow-up attacks that both connect fairly solidly. So far just hand-strikes. And yes, his hands are very quick. There's no commentary, no barbs…just a look of intense focus as the sparring match continues. And perhaps not surprisingly, a few others have wandered over to watch, though they don't call out or make bets..just watch. Must be Wraiths.

Well, the first foray is.. interesting. With Corvin's initial swing a touch hesitant, despite his claims, the Black Fox isn't beneath seizing an advantage when it presents itself. It's in her nature. So yes, her fist connects with a solid *THWACK!* to his jaw. But the victory is short lived, seeing as he follows up with those next quickfire blows. Damn. She'd expected him to be caught more off-guard, forgetting just who it was she was up against. There's an answering, decent punch toward his chest in retaliation for those jabs, and then she's dancing back a step or two, reassessing. The presence of new spectators doesn't seem to perturb her, if she even notices them, such is her frowning focus upon Corvin.. but it was somewhat inevitable such a match might draw onlookers. Wraith versus Fox? C'mooon.

Aaaaand that seems to be that. There's actually a murmur and frown from a few onlookers at that, as Corvin once again barely grazes Esyld, and she lands a solid strike to his midsection, that clearly not just takes the wind from him, but doubles him over enough to drop him to his knees, coughing and wheezing a bit.

"Well…not exactly…my finest hour."

Esyld's features drain of all expression, rather unnervingly, as she settles to her task - perhaps the sharp blows to her ribs having jolted her without ceremony into a fight rather than a half-assed dance of fists with the man who's bed she has been sharing. Finesse she may lack. But lean strength and sheer gutsy determination? Not so much. It's an almost amusing contrast to the oh-so-gallant manner of her elder brother, on the field of battle.. he'd offer someone a hand up, Esyld would probably put a booted foot on their throat.

Twisting her upper body in reaction when Corvin lashes out again, leaning back and dropping by way of bended knees, she doesn't quite manage to dodge, given the speed of his strike.. but he leaves himself open! Surging upward from her awkward angle, the Captain flexes the strong muscles of her thighs and, straightening, throws her full weight behind a solid punch to the Wraith's midsection, that vulnerable little concave spot where ribs end and abdomen begins. It's done before she's even really thought it through. Instinct. And now.. she does have the grace to look at least a little guilty when the Wraith drops to his knees. Enough to.. yes. She offers a hand toward him, dropping her guard and relaxing, some humor and warmth seeping back into her half-smile. "..sorry." Oh yeah, that sounded genuine. Not. "Though, you've had plenty of 'fine hours', to my recollection.." She ignores the ripple of disquiet from their 'crowd', waiting with her palm out toward him.

Because betting on the Commander is a Bad Idea. The other onlookers draw no notice from Lorelei as she keeps her eyes set on Corvin and Esyld, reaching up occasionally to tuck the loose strands of hair that blow into her face behind whichever ear is closest. While there was some expectation that her home team, as it were, would come in with a bit of a handicap, the raised brows on her pale forehead betray that she's actually quite impressed with how it's all shaking out. When the Wraith Commander ends up on his knees wheezing, though, she actually speaks, shouting in praise for Esyld: "That's it!"

Corvin takes the hand and clambers back to his feet. He takes a few steps back, catching his breath, and shaking his head a bit, "All right…let's try this again." He bounces on his feet a little bit, and rolls his neck, before bringing his hands up once more, this time in a southpaw stance, completely reversed from what he offered before. Some manner of trickery afoot? Or just adjusting his technique to suit the apparently greater-than-advertised brawling skills of Esyld? Hard to say just yet.

Nodding, Esyld likewise backs up a step or two. Wait, what's this? Fancy-shmancy stances? She's.. not going to pretend she's anything other than a brawler now. Her own stance returns to that relaxed settle, fists up in front of herself and gaze sharp on the man opposite. Rolling her shoulders back and loosing a breath she hadn't actually realised she was holding, she braces herself and offers Corvin the go-ahead. It might have been prudent to.. not hit him quite so hard, in their first bout… clarity of hindsight and all.

It's looking like it's going to be a repeat performance, though at least this time they both start strong. Corvin actually winces as Esyld slams another hard strike into very nearly the same spot she hit just a few moments ago, but Corvin's own strikes her upper body with equal force. Still, Esyld's follow up connects more-than-solidly, while Corvin's own misses entirely, but he follows up with a third punch that again lands hard. Oy vey…there will be bruises, that's for damn sure. He backs off a few paces once more, taking quick, shallow breaths to try to regain his air after ANOTHER slug to the breadbasket. But he does comment, breathlessly, "You fight dirty. That's Good."

When the Wraith comes at her again, despite her watchful eyes Esyld misreads entirely his intent and is rewarded with a jarring blow to her torso. Though, rather than back off in the wake of it, as one would expect, she pushes onward. When the solid connect of his fist knocks the air from her lungs with a practically audible 'whoomph' - and a definite bruise to rise shortly thereafter - the mercenary does fold forward in reflex.. only to surge upward again from that lower vantage, bringing her shoulder inward as she hurls a punch at his gut again, then follows it up with a sharp jab at his ribs. Bitch! Only then does she gasp a hoarse, lung-burning breath and shift back. Even if her booted feet are not dainty and graceful, she still evades him at first - leaning back out of reach of his next swing, which comes close enough that the motion stirs a whisper of a breeze past her upward tilted jaw.

Not so lucky the next time, though. She's off balance in this awkward recline. When Corvin lands that third strike.. and what a beauty.. she's knocked bodily sideways, stumbling before she can right herself with a grimace. Snatching a few welcome breaths, though, she does shift to a slight grin in the wake of his words. "..is there.. any other way..?" Man alive, that hurt. But they've both had far worse.

"Not if you want to stay alive long in a real fight, unless you're wrapped from head to toe in steel." Corvin notes, "Which is more your area of expertise than mine." After a few moments, he seems to have regained his breath, and rolls his shoulders, "Shall we make it the best of three rounds, then?" He offers a hand to her in kind, returning the gesture she performed towards him.

There's a most unladylike snort from the young woman by way of response to the quip about armor. But she does accept the offered hand, straightening and doing her best to just shake off the niggle of throbbing bruises. Well, she probably deserved that, after the way she smacked his jaw when he was still being 'careful'. No more of that! With a nod, and rake of fingers through her tresses, drawing them back from her forehead, Esyld grits her teeth and faces the Wraith again, apparently accepting the suggestion of a third and final go. A fleeting glance is cast toward her lone supporter.. not that the watching Wraiths have been unkind or derogatory. How many of them would be so willing to go toe to toe with Corvin, huh?

The mercenary mindset is really beneficial now, it would seem. Each impact of a fist on flesh draws Lorelei's eyes this way, then that, then this…you get the picture. There's a tsk as she watches Esyld push her hair out of her eyes again - she had offered to braid it beforehand - but otherwise there isn't much reaction from the archer. It pleases her that no one else has anything to say, because who doesn't like being a trendsetter? But she's not especially pleased at all the wounds that are accumulating on either side. Meeting Esyld's eyes when she sees her looking over, Lore nods, her own eyes narrowing as she hunkers down for round three.

Well…most of them have sparred with Corvin at one time or another, but that's neither here nor there. Corvin drops back into that southpaw stance again, and bounces on his feet, sidestepping to try to partially-circle Esyld while his upper body bobs and weaves, making for a more evasive target…or so he hopes.

Frowning in concentration - probably - Esyld doesn't bother with anything showy. She keeps her fists up and moves enough to keep her opponent in her sights. Or try to. Who knew he was such a good dancer? Her own footwork is careful and steady, turning her almost on the spot rather than risk a misstep into his path.

Finally, one of those gathered says something. The crowd has continued to grow somewhat, and, after seeing the pair of women head off for Highwater, some of the Foxes decided to saunter on down after them. It's one of the newer recruits that shouts, now: "Hit 'im! Go on!" Once the ice is broken, there's some jeering. Lorelei, recognizing the voice, winces briefly but keeps her eyes on her own target ahead.

"AH!" That's actually some real pain in that exclamation as Corvin takes another fist to the stomach, and with his own strike going completely awry, he pretty much crumples immediately. Well, that was…anticlimactic. And it's not terribly dignified how he's wheezing and coughing and clutching his side. The watching Wraiths look…speculative, some a bit perturbed, but few, if any, particularly sympathetic as they disperse, most heading back towards the Wraith Tower. Still, after a few moments, Corvin seems to…at least start to recover, though he's certainly slow in rising, "Looks like…there's very little I can teach you…Captain." He doesn't look happy. He doesn't look angry exactly…but not happy.

There's the barest flicker of distraction, little more than a twitch of Esyld's lips in a smirk that's gone again in an instant, as she overhears the helpful 'advice' from one of the recruits on 'her' side. It just had to turn into an ogle-fest, didn't it. Oh well. She didn't mind the Foxes watching her spar with a full-fledged knight, she's not going to overthink them seeing her pitted against a Wraith. Friendly rivalry is a good thing! Though that may be a somewhat biased and personal opinion, if the rumors are to be believed..

Alright. Enough dancing. If he's going to bob and weave and feint, she's just going to snatch the first advantage she sees. And that, apparently, means a sudden and powerful strike to his midsection the moment he ventures too close. Oh shit. The words might not be voiced but it's all there in her expression. She hadn't expected him to be that close. That's a level of violence usually reserved for drunkards foolish enough to grab at her backside in an alehouse, not.. well, not Corvin. And 'not happy' on him is quite bad enough for her, thank you very much. Swallowing, she lets him rise without the offer of a hand this time, not to impugn him any further.. though she does venture a step toward him when he eventually straightens again, flitting a glance over him in concern. "A lucky shot." she replies, evenly, before adding in a softer undertone, "..sorry." She doesn't pay much mind to the spectators who remain or those who melt away, for a moment.

Part of her is certainly pleased that Esyld appears to have won, sure. But the entire mood has shifted palpably. Sitting up straight, then shifting and hopping down off the fence post (onto the outside of the ring, let it be known), Lorelei watches, brows furrowed and eyes narrowed. One hand grabs the opposite elbow as she leans against the fence, watching and waiting for whatever comes next.

"No. Don't apologize for a victory, or make excuses for it." The tone isn't snappish, or heated. Not even cold, really, but there's a certain distance to it, as though Corvin's thoughts were elsewhere. "You won fairly, and had it been a real fight I'd be done. I seem to have lost a step or two somewhere along the way." And that, more than anything seems the root cause of his disquiet, at least for now. "It seems I'm the one in need of more training. Maybe a few laps around the yard." The words are a jest, but the humor is subdued.

Esyld's lips twist in uneasy consideration. After a moment - and onlookers be damned, Wraith and Fox alike - she brings a hand upward, lightly tracing a caress along his jawline, if permitted, standing close enough to imply familiarity even at a glance, but not in any 'improper' proximity. "Maybe I've been distracting you too much, hm?" Her voice is quiet, though not inaudible, given the odd hush fallen over the yard. The words themselves? Well, they sound sincere enough that anyone overhearing might give the suggestion some merit. Corvin won't, of course, but that's not the point. The mercenary is willing to cast her own reputation under suspicion to soothe wounded pride.. and that's new.

With a pointed look into the Wraith's features, the woman then steps back, regardless, and starts toward her friend at the railing. Her strides are a little stilted, thanks to the bruising she received.. but she doesn't seem in much of a hurry anyway. And the other Foxes, even the dimmest among them, have begun shuffling away.. though there's undeniably a few raised brows or sly grins for what they've witnessed.

The look Esyld gives Lorelei is unreadable. To anyone else, anyway.

How about that eh? This whole sparring match is full of new experiences, none quite so meaningful to Lorelei as how her Captain is putting her pride away. Hm. Lips press, as per the norm, into a thin, pale line before her bottom lip is caught between her teeth. It's concern, plainly stated in her face as she watches Esyld approach. That look is read, processed, and not reacted to - not outwardly, anyway. The hand on her elbow, though, squeezes rather tightly until her fingers are almost white. Dark eyes leave the mercenary for a moment to see what the wounded Wraith has done in her wake.

There's a faint shake of Corvin's head to the suggestion, even if there's the slightest quirk of a smile. He does grab the hand before it's pulled away and press a brief kiss into her palm, but it's almost so quick that some might not even notice. "We'll speak…later." Nothing ominous in the tone or the look that accompanies it. And there's even a hair more humor when he adds, "After my ribs knit, perhaps."

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